Author Archives: George Simmers

After many years as a teacher, I retired and began researching for a Ph.D. on the fiction of the Great War – especially the books, stories and plays that were written during the War or immediately afterwards.

Playing with FaceApp

What kind of poet would Wilfred Owen have become had he survived the war? It’s one of the unanswerable questions that it’s fun to occasionally consider. It happened to be in the back of my mind when I was playing with the silly but clever little computer program, FaceApp, which takes any photo portrait and […]

Rose Allatini – A Woman Writer

Read a sample of the book by clicking here. My monograph on Rose Allatini is now properly published and on sale. It is the first book to examine the full career of the author of the 1918 novel Despised and Rejected. It considers her whole output, over seven decades (and under several pseudonyms) and questions […]

Firestep to Fokker Fodder

Not many comprehensive schools possess chapels, but Magdalen College School Brackley, where I taught English for over thirty years, inherited one from the grammar school from which it took over in 1973. During chilly assemblies in the chapel, my attention often wandered to some wooden crosses on the wall. These are ex-students’ crosses from First […]

Rose Allatini in Hampstead

This is a supplement to a post from last year, in which I described my wanderings round West London, looking at houses where Rose Allatini lived. Recently, I happened to be in Hampstead, so took the opportunity to look at 142 Fellows Road, the house where Rose Allatini was living at the time when her […]

Writing about Rose

For the past year I’ve been writing about Rose Allatini, and the book is nearly ready for publication. It should be available to buy by the start of June. I’ve called it Rose Allatini: A Woman Writer. Why? Because Olive, the novelist heroine of …Happy Ever After, her first book, declared: ‘I want to be […]

What Helen Zenna Smith did next

It’s good to read someone enthusiastic for Not So Quiet… by ‘Helen Zenna Smith’ (alias Evadne Price). On the Paris Review website, Lucy Scholes makes a strong case for the book (admiring it with fewer reservations than I did in my 2014 paper on Evadne Price and her rather wonderful life of untruths.) Lucy Scholes […]

Arnold Bennett at the MOI

I’ve just added a new piece to my online ‘Pieces of Longer Writing’. It’s the text of a paper I gave at an Arnold Bennett Society conference in Stoke in 2017, giving an account of Bennett’s work when he was at the Ministry of Information in 1918.

Robert Blake (and Sexton)

Sanjay Sircar, a reader of this blog, has sent me an interesting footnote to my long-ago posts about the Sexton Blake detective magazines. His mother , Rani Sircar, wrote a memoir, Dancing Round the Maypole: Growing Out of British India (New Delhi: Rupa, 2003). In this she records that at school in Madras in the […]

Kipling advertises War Bonds

I spent a pleasant day in the British Library at Boston Spa yesterday, looking at copies of the Star evening newspaper for 1918. Among the things that caught my eye was this advertisement for War Bonds, featuring Kipling at his most rhetorically fierce. I’ve read quite a bit of war propaganda over the years, but […]

London Opinion

It’s a long time since I was seriously collecting variations on the ‘white feather’ theme, but today I was delighted to come across a postwar variation on the theme in London Opinion, in early 1919, when everyone was asking when demobilisation was going to happen: